Posts tagged comic review
Sheltered #1 & #2 Review
Writing: Ed Brisson
Art: Johnnie Christmas
Review by Melissa Megan
Victoria and her dad recently arrived at Safe Haven, a community intentionally removing themselves from ‘the grid’ and preparing for the end of the world, however it may come. They’ve got ham radios, bunkers stocked with food and water and the knowledge to survive almost anything. They’re still adjusting to their new home when things take a major turn for the worse.
Charismatic local boy Lucas heads up a rebellion against the adults of the compound. We’re not talking about throwing the grown ups in the basement here, every single one of them are killed and burned. It’s a shocking basis for the story and issue 2 wastes no time getting to the point. As Victoria and her friend Hailey return from a walk in the woods that caused them to miss the massacre, they are faced with the grim new reality of their situation.
This is heavy shit, folks. Lucas is committed to his mission, although what that is isn’t exactly clear yet, and he won’t let any weepy kids get in his way. He’s already convinced the other kids in the compound to murder their own parents. The question is why and what has he got planned for the community left behind. Victoria is obviously a tough cookie and she isn’t prepared to lay down and start taking orders from Lucas or his child army.
So far, Sheltered is a very interesting read. The art works but it’s nothing that will blow your mind, the writing is the real meat here. This concept is high tension and I love how quickly the action got started. There is lots of potential for a great psychological thriller here and Sheltered has already delivered in a big way on emotional drama. You should definitely be reading this one, I have a feeling it won’t slow down.
The Thrilling Adventure Hour is a podcast (which is actually a rebroadcast of a monthly stage show) in the style of an old-time radio show. At least, that’s all it was until now. Thanks to the support of their fans and Kickstarter backers, they were able to create a graphic novel! Featuring some classic characters as well as current favorites, the TAH novel is 136 pages of pure fun. It has everything a fan of the podcast could want and then some. Not only do you get stories of Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars and those married mediums Frank and Sadie Doyle from Beyond Belief, you also get to see adventures from Colonel Tick-Tock, Captain Laserbeam, Amelia Earhart, and more! It even includes ads for Patriot Brand Cigarettes and other fun things, all in the style of old newspaper or magazine ads.
“What if you’re not a fan of the podcast?” you ask. Fear not! While the stories will definitely appeal to current fans of the show for many different reasons, the stories also stand alone very nicely. True, as a fan of the show myself I was very excited to see the characters I had become familiar with come to life on the page, but I also tried to imagine seeing these characters being presented to me for the first time and couldn’t find anything that would make me feel lost or disconnected in any way. So, whether you’re on old-time fan of the show or this is your first introduction, I believe the TAH graphic novel has something to offer everyone. I do heartily recommend checking the podcast out once you’ve finished the novel, however. Each episode is pretty short (about 30 mins) and there are a lot of fun stories in there for you to catch up on. Happy consuming, nerds!
The Thrilling Adventure Hour graphic novel is now available at your local comic shop. It will be released in all bookstores Aug 20th. You can find more at the TAH website. To check out the podcast go to Nerdist website, where you will find it listed along the many other podcasts in the Nerdist family.
Dark Horse is (kinda) proud to present Buddy Cops, the story of a demoted space cop and 1970s android that hate each other. The problem is that Uranus (the demoted space cop) gets drunk and wild while TAZER (the android) is more traditional and follows the law and procedures to the letter. Somehow they manage to work together despite their differences and immense hatred towards each other. Buddy Cops takes you through some of their adventures as they battle nuclear monkeys and equally ridiculous monsters (“ridiculous” used with the greatest sense of love and affection here). If you’re looking for a fun one-shot comic, look no further than Buddy Cops. Go pick up a copy from your local shop today!
“The Massive gives us a different, and essentially unique, take on the story of the end of the world. It doesn’t revel in destruction; when scenes describing the planetary crisis show up, they make clear that this was a true disaster, not a disaster movie. Millions have died, in dirty, tragic, and decidedly noncinematic ways. Instead, The Massive is a story of the necessity of resilience. While it leads us through the catastrophic aftermath of the Crash, we soon see that survival here is not the purpose in and of itself—it’s survival with the hope of making things better, even while recognizing that the old world’s legacies (in materials and ideolo-gies) yet remain.”
This introduction to Volume 1 of “The Massive,” mirrors the thoughts I shared in my review of Issue #1 back in June (although decidedly with a gift for language I can only hope to one day touch). The only thing I added was how fantastic the artwork was. The superb attention to detail in both art and story continue with the rest of this first collection.
One thing I loved about the first issue of “The Massive” was how the action starts immediately and the reader is thrown into a world where it doesn’t know the rules, but quickly learns. Never confusing, always intriguing, “The Massive” does a fantastic job of taking the reader on a journey through a post-apocalyptic world where two sister ships must find their way back together while also discovering the cause of the event known to us as “The Crash”. The story gets richer with each page, making the reader dive into a world that’s falling apart, bit by bit. As we learn about this world and the destruction it has already seen, we also slowly get to know the cast of characters and how they ended up in the situations we see them face from the beginning of our story. The transition back and forth from past to present keeps the story moving in ways much more interesting than if the author had simply said “this is what has happened, now to continue…” It not only helps with the steady flow of the story, it also engages the reader better than a straight timeline would.
“The Massive: Vol 1″ is a brilliant collection of stories that introduces you to a world of chaos and disorder. It gives you plenty to drag you into this world, while still leaving you wanting more. Just a little more…
The Massive: Volume 1 is available now, so go ask about it at your local comic shop. Volume 2 will be available Dec 2013, and Volume 3 June 2014. Keep with it, because from what I’ve seen so far it promises to be a continuously good read.
Writing: Joe Hill
Art: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors: Jay Fotos
Review by Melissa Megan
The evil, murderous Dodge has settled himself in to little Bode Locke’s body and succeeded in getting his hands on the long sought after Omega key. The “Last Dance” has begun and it’s ugly. Bode/Dodge is headed to the black door to welcome his terrible, alien friends to this world and he won’t let anyone stand in his way, starting with poor Nina Locke.
While darkness is falling over the Locke house, Tyler and Kinsey are enjoying prom with their friends. Tyler accepts what he can get from the woman he loves and comes to terms with the tragedy of being in love in high school. Kinsey revels in the unique qualities of her closest friends and as the night comes to a close, chooses the after party over home. Everyone is headed for the caves, where the final party of the year is just beginning, in more ways than the Locke family realizes.
If you’ve been reading Locke & Key, by now, if you have a heart, you should be desperate to see this family come out on top. At the least see them stop hurting. The Lockes have lost so much and struggled so hard to keep their family whole, it kills me to watch them be defeated by the weasley, arrogant Dodge. And as much as I really, really hate to see Locke & Key come to an end, the suspense of how it will all end is becoming unbearable. Oh please, please let the Locke family stop the demons. They deserve that much.
Writing: Nick Spencer
Art: Riley Rossmo
Cover: Frazer Irving
A priest is gruesomely murdered. Fillmore Press is undergoing a nasty ‘interrogation’ by the local “hero”, The First. The police suspect Fillmore of being behind the recent murders since he volunteered himself as an expert. They feel he knows too much to not be involved and hope a good old fashioned beating will encourage him to fess up.
Detective Acevedo is working out the connections between the murderer and a possible dark background with the church, figuring out along the way that Fillmore may have been telling the truth that he’s not involved with the crimes. Let’s not forget, of course, that Fillmore was once maniacal killer Madder Red, so he may be involved in something before this is all over.
This issue starts off slow, for the usual speed of Bedlam, but the big bang at the end is worth the wait. Mostly an issue to help tie up connections and keep the crime solving moving for the cops, this one isn’t as brutal or bloody as past issues. No matter, you should have been reading this series already; if not, get on that shit. Bedlam is one of the best psychological thrillers being written in comics right now and Riley Rossmo’s art is superb here. Buy it, read it, collect it.
Writing: A.J. Lieberman
Art: Colin Lorimer
Ben was a successful surgeon until a nasty drug habit caused him to allow a woman to die on his table, exposing his addiction and his incompetence and eventually resulting in the loss of his medical license. After being approached by some powerful people running an illegal organ trade business, Ben quickly realized that his new job is despicable in enough ways that not even the lure of money and power are temptation worth doing it. He decides to blow up the business and try to rescue the latest victim, who he stole organs from, in an attempt to satisfy his relentless guilt.
As the Feds close in on Ben and clue him in to just how much trouble he is in, he realizes that his short stint in the organ theft business was enough for the people at the top to put the heat on him. His next choice is to throw himself in to a quest for revenge; calling in a favor to a rich man who’s daughter Ben saved gives him just the right partner he needs to pull it off. The millionaire clients that pay the organ business to keep them healthy and off of organ donation waiting lists are Ben’s targets and he wastes no time starting the hunt.
Harvest #3 picks up the pace nicely that it lacked in the first two issues, pushing the story in to new territory with more action and a plot that has potential to carry several more issues. I’m not going to say that Harvest is blowing me away just yet, but it’s definitely entertaining, morbid and unique. Those are all traits that are plenty to keep me reading.
Writing by: Curtis J. Wiebe
Art by: Riley Rossmo
Issue #3 opens with a touching scene of Maya being schooled by her late mentor, Calista, in the delicate and patient art of becoming a ‘Protector’ for the last human outpost, Maiden. It’s not only apparent that Calista hoped to teach calm and thoughtful defensive techniques, but also that Maya was stubborn and fearless even as a child. The characters of Debris are quite likable and really help to draw you into the story; you really want to see them survive and succeed.
The art of Riley Rossmo is really at it’s best during Maya’s battle scenes with the giant trash bots that attack her in every issue. She’s nimble and smart and Rossmo does a great job at portraying the acrobatic movements of her fighting style. I’m very much a fan of his creative use of color as well, using it to create the right mood for each scene and allow the right things to pop in each panel to draw you in to the story.
Maya’s travel companion, Kessel, is wise and weathered; he tries to keep her optimistic but he’s obviously weighed down by his own personal doubts and demons. As the two search for a paradise neither knows actually exists, they grow closer through making new discoveries and sharing old wounds. The real story behind Kessel’s banishment from Maiden is sad and shines light on who he really is. Maya’s childlike curiosity for the sights, smells and tastes of the new lands they journey through expose cracks in her hard, warrior exterior.
Debris is a unique post apocalyptic story of human survival that grows ever more thick with emotion and profound character development. The writing is solid and engaging, the artwork bright and scenic. Debris #3 does a great job of building on the personalities of our protagonists and carries the story along at just the right pace. I definitely recommend this series to readers who enjoy a good adventure ripe with relate-able characters and the perfect dose of action.
Writing by: Steve Niles
Art by: Christopher Mitten
Eben’s vampire army is growing by the hundreds every day. He’s driven to get revenge for the brutal death of his love, Stella. he is also attempting to forge some kind of alliance or at least a truce with the deceitful European vampires. At the same time, FBI agents are crossing lines to find an advantage in their fight against the blood thirsty creatures. They’re bringing big guns and no fear, throwing rules and protocol to the wind.
Scary tale spinner extraordinaire Steve Niles continues the trek of Eben and his immortal tribe of vampires in 30 Days of Night #10. This series has been going for a long time now, and it’s featured a few artists along the way, but the work of Christopher MItten feels really harmonious here. Issue #10 doesn’t bring much action, really, but instead takes a slow burn to build up the tension for upcoming confrontations and likely messy battles.
30 Days of Night is one the best horror series on the shelves today, so if you aren’t already reading it, start now. There’s plenty of material out there already.
Womanthology, if you haven’t already heard, is a large group of all female creators who put together a huge anthology of work and funded the publication through Kickstarter last year. The fundraising and the book were a huge success, shining a spotlight on many talented ladies in the comics industry, at all levels of accomplishment. After the success if the original anthology, IDW has decide to support a new 5 issue series from Womanthology, starting with Space!
Womanthology: Space offers five short stories from industry talents such as Bonnie Burton, Rachel Deering, Ming Doyle and Alison Ross, just to name a few. Some of these stories I liked better than others, but they were all well thought out and creative. Since each one is very short, I don’t want to say too much in the way of spoilers here, but I will touch lightly on each.
“Waiting for Mr. Roboto” is a cute take on the ‘searching for Mr. Right’ theme and takes place in a space diner. The characters are all either alien or robot. Trixie is a bored waitress hoping for something new and exiting to walk in the door. This was probably one of my favorite stories, simply because it’s easy and light hearted, the artwork simple and clean.
“Dead Again” is a creepy ghost story taking place on a lonely ship, just one man left to keep it afloat. He made a mistake one day and that mistake hasn’t let him rest ever since. I also enjoyed this one for it’s spooky, sci-fi vibe and nicely colored and textured art.
“Scaling Heaven” follows the efforts of American and Chinese astronauts to beat each other to the moon. The art of this story is soft and flowy, layered nicely; I really liked this particular style. I will say, however, the story itself was not my favorite. It just felt a little disjointed and open ended.
“Princess Plutonia” reads and looks like a silver age comic, very vintage and brightly colored, the story full of fantasy alien names and space creatures battling for survival and love. It’s a super short but entertaining little adventure.
The final story is called “Space Girls” and it’s presented in a web comic style, all black and white, very simplistic. Sort of a silly portrayal of an all female spaceship that encounters a very special sort of alien presence while exploring new planets. There’s not much to say about this one, it’s basic, cartoonish and should make you smile.
All in all, Womanthology: Space is a nice little collection of tales of space exploration, by a mixed pot of creative women making their names in the comic industry. The first Womanthology book was created to benefit a charity called Global Giving Foundation. The new series of books are being created to get some exposure and creative props to the many skilled women in the comics industry. Regardless of the quality and enjoyment you get from these stories, one of those should be reason enough to support Womanthology.
Available now from IDW.